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Older couples use equity in their home to fund divorce

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Written by: Christina Hoghton
05/04/2017
Property wealth is being increasingly used to ease the financial struggles of divorce and separation, according to Keyretirement.com.

The over-55s financial specialist said that housing equity is enabling ‘silver splitters’ to stay in their homes and fund new properties.

One in 10 equity release customers are now divorced or separated, with couples going through break-ups releasing up to 13% more than the average amount released by couples – £70,000 in contrast to the £61,700 for married couples.

Jump in older divorce rates

The latest government data shows the only group to record an increase in the divorce rate is women aged 55-plus. Across the UK the number of divorces and the divorce rate has dropped by 30% since the peak in 2004 to around 111,169 divorces a year, but around 27% of divorces – or 30,560 – in 2014 were among couples aged 55-plus.

Dean Mirfin, technical director at Key Retirement, said: “Equity release enables one partner to remain in the home while allowing property wealth to be shared and is a growing alternative for settling property issues at divorce.

“It increases the funds available for the other partner to fund a new home and improves their chances of being accepted for a mortgage at a time when finances are stretched. It also enables a home purchase through the ability to release money on the new home as well if needed.”

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